In a leaked recording published on Monday last week by Kan 11 News, Israeli Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich – one of PM Netanyahu’s staunchest allies in the current far-right governing coalition – is heard saying to a businessman “I am indeed an extreme right-wing person, a homophobe, a racist, a fascist – but my word is a word.”
There is no need to be heavy with words in the description of Smotrich, for he himself acknowledges the fact that he is a racist and a fascist, something that we have known for a long time and have been warning about him since the moment he set foot in the Israeli Knesset.
In a recorded conversation that took place a few months ago, Smotrich told his counterpart that even if he actively works against LGBTQ+ people, this will not alienate voters from him. Every potential voter “knows that I am like that and still comes to me,” he said.
In the same conversation, the minister referred to the topic at hand, the issue of the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community and proclaimed there are “boundaries: I will not school gays, you will not feed me shrimp.”
Smotrich added, “I protect the Land of Israel, I am the only one who did not agree to go with Ra’am [United Arab List, one of the Palestinian parties in the Knesset] and kept his promise and I protect the Jewish identity for the grandchildren… I need people like that, okay?”